5 on Friday

I found a link up that is similar to what I already write about on Fridays so I will be keeping on with the Simple Delights of the Week through the 5 on Friday link up. So fun!

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  1. Babies & Best Friends. I spent Sunday and Monday of this week with one of my best friends and her sweet baby, Noah. This was the 2nd baby I saw in less than a week so I may kinda sorta have baby fever. And WOW is it so cool to see my friend as a mom. She is FABULOUS at it and mommy-hood agrees with her. We are friend soul-mates so I always look forward to fun times with Morgan. And I already miss her…photo 2 (2)
  2. The Heights in Houston. I move out of Houston and only then do I find an area of Houston that I really dig. The Heights is a beautiful neighborhood not far from downtown with lovely, older trees and homes. If I were still living in Houston, I would want to live here (as long as I could afford it). I enjoyed taking a walk or two through here on Monday.photo 1 (3)
  3. Season premiere of Hannibal. I am a sucker for scary, thriller type movies and shows. The second season of Hannibal starts tonight and I am uber excited about it. We have a wedding to go to tonight so will miss it on live TV, but On Demand better have me covered for a tomorrow night viewing. It is eerie good!!
  4. Possible answer to my sleep issues. I haven’t written about this on the blog yet, but I have been experiencing restless leg syndrome or periodic limb movement in my sleep. It has woken the boyfriend up several times in a panic so I saw the doc  last week to draw blood and check my iron/ferritin levels. I like to play medical researcher when I have something going on and I found a correlation between iron and possible sleep movements so scheduled the labs. Turns out my ferritin is EXTREMELY low. I am happy to have answers! Now I can supplement with iron and hope that the periodic limb movement is reversed and my sleep goes back to normal. Although, I must say.. as a dietitian/nutritionist I am fascinated by how hard it really is to get iron through foods. I will write a post or two in the future about it. Hopefully my experience can help someone else’s!
  5. Healthy restaurants. I love it when I find a tasty, but healthy restaurant. I know, most of these simple delights are from my road trip to Houston, but it was so fun I can’t resist! The healthy restaurant I tried was Ruggles Green. Houston, move one to Dallas!  PLEASE! Both Morgan and I got a buffalo burger. It was delicious! photo 3

31 Day Nutrition Challenge Printable

I went all natural for you peeps. I get sick of power point and pub documents so hand drew the 31 Day Nutrition Challenge printable. If you just can’t read it and need me to type it up, let me know. I’ll consider it.

Print the image below and start on March 1st!

31 Day Nutrition Challenge

So, why 31 day nutrition challenge in March? Because March is NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH! The theme this year is, “Enjoy the taste of eating right!” I love that. Don’t you?

I wanted the challenge to be super simple and get you to try something nutrition-related each day of the month. You may already do some of the items in the challenge or perhaps you dislike one of the items. No worries! Just change it.. cross mine out and make your own. Then share it! The more ideas the merrier.

Who is up for the 31 day nutrition challenge? I will blog daily for the month of March about each item so stay tuned for additional tips and tricks.

Let’s have fun with this!

What to Eat Wednesday: Cucumbers

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Lately, I am all about the cuke! It’s an easy vegetable to eat raw and it pleases most people’s taste buds. It goes nicely sliced into a salad or even on a sandwich. I sometimes even sprinkle a little sea salt on it and have it as a side dish or snack. Never thought salt would be good on cucumber until my old roommate taught me that trick. Now, I am loving it!

At 16 calories a cup, cucumbers will not stick to that waistline. And they are so versatile. In addition to the above, you can also use cucumbers…

  • By chopping them up and putting them into your favorite chicken or tuna salad recipe
  • By slicing into thin slices to mix into your favorite cole slaw
  • By putting slices into water to make a refreshing cucumber water.. hello, spa day!
  • By juicing fresh cucumber along with your other favorite ingredients (like green apple, ginger, and lemon perhaps)
  • By chopping them up and making a tabouli or couscous salad
  • By stuffing slices into a pita or wrap
  • By cutting into thicker slices to dip into hummus

So many ways… so many ideas.  How do you like your cuke?

Eat well!

Remember when… Discman Edition

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Remember when Ipods did not exist? We used discmans to play our CD’s and before that it was a walkman to play our cassette tapes.  Well, I had a red discman and I loved the heck out of it. I took it to college with me and we connected over Rascal Flatts.

I became a so-called health nut my freshman year of college. Before that, I actually used to eat quite a bit of nutty bars and instant mashed potatoes, while my beverage of choice was a Cherry Coke. How is that for a healthy diet?

Back to the health nut talk… I loved walking to the gym in the morning. I would grab my discman with Rascal Flatts CD inside and off I went. Keep in mind this was back in the day of KAZAA, which is now illegal, so I had all my favorites on one CD. I didn’t want to look like the uncool kid at college with a discman hooked to the top of my pants so I always carried the darn thing. I never take my Ipod for granted now for being so light and easy to run with!

In March of 2003, my brother went off to war. March was a very tough month for me that year. I often worried about him, prayed for him and his safety, and tried to stay in the loop of the war without knowing too much. My discman got me through some tough times! When I needed some feel good endorphins I would wake up in the morning and head out the door with that red discman and Rascal Flatts. I am not a singer nor will I EVER claim to be, but I sang along. I was in the moment. I could never hit the “I melt…”, but in my head I sure did. I am always a better singer in my head when my voice is not following along. Funny how that works.

Truth is, I was able to escape. I was able to find joy during a dark time. I remember that red discman and boy will I never forget it.

Do you have anything like that? Something that really helped you get through a tough time?

Sunday Social

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Grab your coffee or tea and get social with me!  Here are this week’s question from the Sunday Social link up…

  1. Favorite breakfast food: I love pancakes, but rarely eat them. So I will have to go with… drum roll please… Egg & turkey bacon sandwich on an English muffin. I will sometimes add a slice of Pepper Jack cheese or a squeeze of ketchup (not both though). I haven’t had one in awhile so now I want one!
  2. Best way to spend a free day: Being spontaneous with time. Going to a new workout class or going to see a movie at a unique theater. Heading outdoors (especially if by a beach or mountains) or hanging out with a loved one (or both simultaneously).  IMG_0077
  3. Airline ticket to anywhere in the world… where would you go and why? New Zealand. I really want to visit there and WILL in my lifetime. Was hoping to go in 2014, but I will have to postpone it due to how expensive it is and other trips I already have planned.
  4. You can only leave the house with one thing. What is it? Probably a phone so I could call someone to bring me my other things. 😉
  5. How do you take your coffee? I don’t actually. I am much more of a tea drinker and can usually be found drinking Tazo Zen green tea or the Tazo Earl Gray tea. If I drink Earl Gray, I sweeten it with a squeeze of lemon. If Zen, I prefer it plain. No coffee for me yet, but I do LOVE the smell.  Glad my boyfriend drinks coffee some mornings so I can still enjoy the aroma!photo

Simple Delights of the Week

Thank goodness it is Friday!  I love Fridays for many reasons, but today I am extremely thankful. This was a busy work week for me and the work just continues so I will be using these next two nights to RELAX. I am all about zenning out.

And then it is road trip time on Sunday.  Heading to Houston to see one of my best friends and her baby. Can’t wait to hold the little one!

Anyway, even in the midst of being busy with work, I have lots of simple delights from the week.  Here are five of them…

Wearing purple. I don’t know what it is about the color purple, but I love it. I always have. When I was younger, I had light purple walls. Now, I just wear it. It’s my power color. I know I am going to feel good when wearing purple. I may have even had one of my head shots done last October by a purple wall…

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Klondike.  It’s a mini-series about the gold rush in Alaska. Matt and I watched the first of the series on Thursday night and are hoping to watch the last 2 tonight. I don’t watch a ton of history type of movies or TV shows so whenever I find one that I really like, I dive right in. This one is very well produced and the actors/actresses do a great job in it. The bonus part is that I actually learn something too!

Blood oranges. I had my first blood orange back in 2003. I was in Pagosa Springs after a full day of skiing about to relax in the hot springs. The receptionist dude was extremely friendly and, as a lot of Colorado locals are, very laid back. He handed me a piece as I asked him a question about the springs. That was about 10 years ago. Recently, I have found blood oranges at Target. I know, Target is not the best place to get fruit, but I still bought me some blood oranges. I am loving them!  Plus, they bring up a really cool memory too.

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Hot yoga. My friend Heather invited me to a hot yoga class on Monday so I went. Talk about getting hot and sweaty! I looked like I had taken a hot shower in my workout clothes after I walked out of that class. 90 minutes is a little long for me to be doing hot yoga, I will admit that. I was getting restless towards the end, but for the most part I enjoyed it. I slept the BEST I have slept in a looooooong time that night.

TED talks app. I am all about motivational talks or inspirational presentations. My friend told me about TED talks recently so I downloaded the app. I knew I would not take the time to look up TED talks regularly on my desktop so the app is great. Any time I needed a break this past week or had an itch to open my mind a little more, I picked a TED talks to listen to. Way cool stuff on there!

31 Day Nutrition Challenge Begins 3/1

Simple Delights

March is National Nutrition Month. Since I have a passion for nutrition and health, I am going to celebrate it all month long and I invite you to join me.

I am working on a month long nutrition challenge that will be super easy for you to print or save to your computer. It will be a simple challenge and you will have one thing to complete each day.  For instance, on the 10th you may have to pack a healthy snack to work.  Simple, right?  And more importantly it gets you thinking about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle daily. Gotta love that!

I like to keep things positive around here too so you won’t find any “don’ts”. Just “do’s”.  Prepare yourself, friends.  Join in on the 31 day nutrition challenge with me.  I will post more on the blog about the challenge late next week.  We have 9 days before it begins.

I also plan to do the challenge myself and blog about it each day. That means we may dive into a lot of nutrition in March, but I promise it won’t be boring.  And, I want to hear from you.  Keep me updated throughout the challenge by posting on the Simple Delights facebook page or tweeting @SimpleDlights.

Oh I get so excited about the little things… National Nutrition Month, here we come!

What to Eat Wednesday: Chia Seeds

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Cha Cha Cha Chia! Never had a chia pet, but I sure remember the commercials. Anyway, pet aside.. the seeds are heart healthy and considered a superfood.

What makes chia seeds a pleasure for the heart?  They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3’s help reduce triglycerides, blood pressure, and inflammation in the body.  Omega-3’s are also good for brain health and help in reducing depression.

What makes chia seeds a so-called superfood? It has been touted as a nutrient-rich food full of health benefits for centuries. Chia seeds have been used by the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas (much like quinoa).

Other fun facts about chia seeds:

  • Chia means strength in the language of the Mayans
  • Unlike flaxseed, the seeds do not have to be milled to receive its health benefits
  • Chia seeds are a complete source of protein
  • Chia seeds are rich in fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer
  • Iron-rich, the seeds have more than spinach
  • The seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels

I just read an interesting article about the many different uses of chia seeds in a Huffington post article, but my use of choice is as a breakfast topper. I am not so sure I would use chia seeds when making grilling sauces or jams/jellies.  But never say never.  I do like making things as healthy as possible, while NOT compromising flavor.  Taste is important, as well all know.

So, here is how I have been using chia seeds lately:

Cinnamon-y Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup stone ground oats (you can substitute with rolled oats)
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or more… I like a lot of cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Mix the above in a container that you can easily take with you in the car.  Refrigerate overnight. Then top with raisins or cranberries.. or whatever other topping strikes your fancy.

I love this breakfast because if I am running out of time in the morning, I can easily grab and eat it in the car. I like mine somewhat thick too so if you like your oats a little more on the runny side, feel free to add more milk.

What is your favorite way to eat chia seeds?

Girl Chat Questions

GIRL CHAT

Did you have a great Valentine’s Day weekend?  Mine was fabulous.  I could not have asked for a better weekend and not because it was Valentine’s Day weekend, but because I spent quality time with my boyfriend, mom, and friends at different times.  I am all about love and connection in 2014!

I listened to a Tone It Up video on Saturday and loved the questions they were asked.  Figured I would answer the same questions.  I would love for you to pick one or two to answer as well.  Heck, or even write a blog post with your answers too and send me a link. I would DEFINITELY give it a read.  Here we go…

  1. What is your favorite indulgence?  Chocolate chip cookies. And not just any chocolate chip cookie, but one that is homemade or from a bakery.  Not from a package.
  2. What is your favorite cocktail?  Anything with champagne. My drink choice over the holidays was grapefruit juice and champagne. Mimosas are also a fave.
  3. The clothing item you can’t live without? Skinny jeans or pants. They have been my go-to item for the past 2 years.  I have NEVER liked jeans until I bought a skinny pair so now I am not sure I will ever get rid of them.
  4. Your favorite workout song? The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson.  Anytime that song comes on, I have to move something.  Even if I am walking down the street, I may have to move the hips a bit.  It gets me dancing that’s for sure.
  5. What is your favorite way to sweat? Dance my butt off.  For how much I love to dance, I do not do it enough.
  6. Your favorite new band? Haim.  Check them out! Their fan base keeps on growing and growing.  I wish them much success!
  7. Your favorite color? Purple. It’s the color of loyalty AND I have loved it ever since I was a girl.  One of my favorite colors to wear too.
  8. Where did you grow up? Rockwall, TX just outside of Dallas.
  9. What is your favorite TV show? My current fave is probably Blacklist, but I wouldn’t say it is my fave of all time.
  10. Any embarrassing accidents? Who hasn’t had one?  My most recent one actually happened today.  I went for my run and thought I saw my boyfriend in his car driving down the street so I smiled and waved.  When I got home and asked him if that was him, he said no.  I either made someone’s day with a smile or creeped someone out with the wave.  Or both.
  11. What was your first job? Babysitter.  I always loved it too. Kids are full of joy and fun!
  12. What was the name of your first pet? Jasmine.  I don’t remember her much, but I have seen pictures.  Jasmine was our cat and Ginger was our dog. Oh, do I love pets!
  13. What’s the one thing you refuse to share? I was the only girl with two brothers so I have a hard time sharing my toiletries like make-up, loofahs, razors, toothbrush, etc. I just think some things should be yours only.
  14. If you had to move to another country, where would you go? I used to think New Zealand, but I have never been there.  Recently, I took a trip to St. Lucia so I know I could absolutely make it in the Caribbean.  Island/beach girl at heart!
  15. What is your favorite confidence booster? Doing my hair and make-up.  I spend a lot of time in workout clothes or working from home so it feels good to get a little girly at times.
  16. How fast can you say the alphabet? Just call me Speedy Gonzalez. Less than 5 seconds.
  17. If you were a jungle animal, what would you be?  A white tiger.  They are breathtaking and I have a huge heart for felines.
  18. Waffles or pancakes? Pancakes.. I used to be borderline addictive.  Now, I only have pancakes like once or twice per year. And not on purpose, I just think they are messy to make myself and I rarely go out to eat for breakfast.  I have been seeing recipes for protein pancakes lately so I will have to try those soon.
  19. Skiing or snowboarding? Skiing.  I grew up skiing and tried snowboarding once, but was on my butt and knees 90% of the time so I gave up.  I wanted to enjoy the rest of my vacation instead of turn black and blue.
  20. Your best piece dating advice? Be open and honest with your communication. There is no need to fester on issues.. just talk about it. 9 times out of 10 if you aren’t happy with something, either is your partner.  Start the convo and you will be surprised at how much better off both of you are.
  21. The one item you always have on you? I rarely am without a ring on my right ring finger.  I only like to wear one ring at a time for some reason.  Too many rings look funny on my hand!  So, I pick from one of my James Avery rings. I have a spiritual one and a heart one.  Spirituality, love, and connection mean a lot to me!
  22. Favorite weekend indulgence? I have had way too many of these lately.  Sweets all the way!  This week I am going to try and reduce the amount of sweets I consume. I can go overboard if we have too many in the house.  Yes, I know, I am a dietitian and should know better.  But I am also human so I don’t. 😉
  23. Best pickup line? “How you doin’?”  And most certainly in the Joey voice.  Gotta love Friends!
  24. If you were a food what would you be? An omelet because so many items can be added to it to make it the best ever! I think that goes for life too. It’s the little things in life that make it the best ever.
  25. Think of your life as a movie- what would the title be? Finding her zen.  I feel like life is a journey and you really have to enjoy each step along the way. Even when an event or time in my life does not go as predicted, it is important to look past negativity and focus on the good. I strive to find my zen in everything that I do.. even if that means something has to change.

Sunday Social (#12)

It’s time for Sunday social.  Grab a cup of tea or coffee and get social with us.  It’s fun!

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Sunday Social Questions:

  1. What are your favorite things to do on a lazy day?  Keep my robe on all day, make some hot tea, and watch good movies or TV shows with Matt and the cats.  If the sun is out, though, I will at least have to go for a leisure walk.  I love me some sun!  (And lately I have been missing it… badly).
  2. What is your TV guilty pleasure?  Dance Moms.  I hope I am never a dance mom like that, but boy do I enjoy watching the drama.  I don’t like it when the moms involve the kids, but for the most part I love the show.
  3. What is your favorite road trip music?  My family and I always loved Tom Petty on road trips.  It was one of the only bands we could ALL agree on.  I have fond memories of those road trips so I am going to stick with that choice!
  4. What are your favorite magazines or books to read by the pool or laying around? I love Women’s Health and Self Magazine.  Those are always go to’s for me.  I am much more of a magazine person than a book person.  I love books, but it takes me awhile to commit to one.  Magazines I can easily pick up and read an article or two.
  5. What is your favorite snack?  I am all about the Uber bars lately by Larabar.  They are easy to grab and are oh so tasty! My favorite flavor is the Dark Chocolate Peanut.  Yum!whateatwed_uber